A tale of two cities:
As Matt Hancock put the final touches to England’s new lockdown regime on Wednesday night, the mood of leaders in Manchester and Liverpool could not have been more different.
On Merseyside the leaders felt they had done all they could to have become the first English region to leave the strictest coronavirus measures introduced six weeks ago. The Liverpool city region has now been moved down to tier 2.
Meanwhile, the Greater Manchester mayor, Andy Burnham, grimly expected yet another dose of punishment for 2.8 million people who have been unable to see loved ones indoors for a period of four months. Manchester was put back into tier 3.